Boy Blowing Soap Bubbles

Boy Blowing Soap Bubbles, Karel Dujardin, SMK, CC-BY

First, tell us who you are, so we can credit your recreation

Now recreate this scene, then hit 'Go' to take your photo.
Change photo?
Keep photo
blank image

Loading your masterpiece...


License of this image: CC-BY-SA
License of original image: Statens Museum for Kunst / National Gallery of Denmark - CC-BY

By: Karel Dujardin (1628-1678)
Created: 1663, Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst / National Gallery of Denmark, Kopenhagen, Denmark Rights: CC-BY

Unless you know how to levitate, it is physically impossible to recreate this image. Try to recreate the atmosphere rather than the actual painting. Balance on a ball, blow soap bubbles in the air, recreate the expression of the boy and your recreation will be a success.

This painting is a striking allegory on the brevity and transitoriness of life.  Even the modern day beholder immediately understands the message. Let’s have a closer look to understand why.

The boy has just lowered his pipe and looks with satisfaction at the bubbles he has sent flying. One hand holds the soap dish, a scallop shell which still holds a few trembling bubbles. The boy is balanced on a giant soap bubble, surfing the waves on an equally giant shell.

This vessel constitutes a surreal element within what is otherwise a realistic depiction, proclaiming the motif to be an allegory. The motif is a “memento mori”, a reminder of the transience of happiness and the brevity of human life.

The work combines two well-known tropes from the 17th century: Fortuna, the goddess of good fortune, rolling on the waves on a ball, and the  “Homo Bulla (est)” (“Man is a bubble”) concept, which is often portrayed as a child blowing soap bubbles.